Multicarrier code division multiple access (MC-CDMA) is a very promising system for wireless communication. However, MC-CDMA signals have a high peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR), which causes signal distortion because of the use of a high-power amplifier (HPA) in the transmitter. Partial transmit sequences (PTSs) represent one of the most attractive PAPR reduction methods, but its high computational complexity in finding the optimal phase vector impedes practical implementation. In this paper, we propose a PTS based on an artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm scheme (ABC-PTS) to reduce the computational complexity of the PTS in the MC-CDMA systems. Simulation results prove that the proposed ABC-PTS scheme shows a significant improvement in PAPR reduction performance, with a low computational complexity. In addition, the bit-error-rate performance of the MC-CDMA with the ABC-PTS and the conventional PTS is compared when the HPA and the linear amplifier are used.